Monday, December 31, 2018

White PVC Fascia Board Installed

The other day we finish the fascia board installation on the east side and then turned the corner to finish up.  But first we had to remove cedar shingles, nails, and the small piece of wood fascia that remained.
 The first board was installed but we realised that we needed to buy another 1X6 PVC board which only comes in 12 feet lengths.  There were 2 short cut offs left over from other boards and between a new 12 footer and a 3 foot cut off piece we could finish the fascia installation today even though it was raining.  
 That's right it was raining but we were determined to finish up.  Not only was it raining but the rain was also running off the roof.  Not ideal but we want to get the eavestroughs installed before the weather turns really cold.  These 30 and 40 degree days are not going to last, so we want to take advantage of them while they are here. 
Cannot wait to rip off those old shingles.  You know that your cedar shingles look bad when black tar paper looks better.  That non original window on the second floor is going away this summer along with that ugly awning.  This is the northside so that bedroom needs all the light it can get.

The area of shingles without any paint is the area where we removed a large non original window that was so rotted and ugly 
that it nearly fell apart as we were removing it.  

If you look at the top right of that area you can see some metal flashing.  That was where there was a single double hung window that was removed so they could put in the large casement and picture window that we removed.  We will not put a window back in because not only is this the northside but it is the wall where we will hang a large TV. 

I recently ordered new exterior french doors and they should be here around January 22nd.  So I am busy looking at door entry handles. Because they are french doors and I have a weird thing about symmetry, whichever handle I buy will also need to have a dummy handle available for the other door or it will bug the heck out of me.  Can't have that!!!!

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Friday, December 28, 2018

Update on PVC Fascia Board Installation

Just a quick update because I need to get to bed because tomorrow we are going to start early.  Today was above normal temperature of 49 degrees!  Perfect outdoor working weather.  We did have some high winds last night and I spent about an hour today picking up branches and twigs.
The white PVC fascia board is installed on the east side and we are moving around to the back of the house.  This is the largest area of shingles and I hope that we can get it all re shingled this summer.  It will be our only project.  
We want to get the white PVC fascia board installed on the north side (where R is working in the photo above).   We will then go back and add the gutter in one continuous run from the short area of the new roof, then an inside corner, across the back of the game room, then an outside corner, and then finish up with a straight run across the north side.  This area will also have 3 downspouts.

Sometime this winter we need to make the wood vent to go in the peak of the area shown below.  It will be like the same vents that are on the garden shed and the south side of the house.  By adding this vent, it should help tie the new peak area in with the rest of the house.
Do not look at that mess under the deck.  

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Update on the Gameroom Roof

The roof is finished and we could not be happier.  We need a warm day with full sunshine for some of the shingles to relax and lay flat.  This doesn't happen in the summer because the heat makes the shingles more pliable but in the winter they are stiff and can crack if forced.  This is the southside so they will be flat as a pancake and also faded to match old shingles by springtime.
The ball is back in our court so to speak.  First off we need to install the pine corner pieces.  They are made of 1X4 clear pine.  We used clear pine so that there would be minimal bleeding of sap and no knots falling out as the wood ages.
One side of the corner was the width of the 1X4 and the other side was ripped down so that the thickness of the other side + the new width=the width of a standard 1X4.  We glued and clamped the pieces and then used the pneumatic brad nailer to fasten them together.
We removed the clamps once we had them nailed together.  They were installed and fastened into place with a 3 inch long finish nail and then countersunk with a nail set.

After the corner boards were all installed we then could install the 1X8 white PVC fascia board.  Why are we using PVC instead of wood?  The fascia board is covered by the wide white vinyl gutters that we are installing. Fascia boards see a lot of water, snow, and ice in Michigan and are prone to rot and paint maintenance.   We decided to go with a no maintenance material because to repaint the fascia board we would have to remove the gutters and the second story gutters are over 32 feet high. 
I like installing the PVC boards during the winter when the PVC is contracted and not expanded.  We had hired someone to do fascia replacement on the front of the house before we retired.  I specially told him TWICE not to leave the PVC boards in the sun because they expand and if he cuts them when they are warm there will be a gap between the boards in the winter when they contract.  Sure enough come winter there was a 1/4th inch gap between every board.  We ended up taking them down and reinstalling. Then we bought another board to replace the last one which was now over an inch short because we closed all the gaps when we re installed the boards.  Yes, we could have caulked but it was the front of the house, on the first story and vary apparent. Caulk gets discolored and has to be maintained and we were looking for maintenance free or as close as you can get to maintenance free. 

It was after that incident that we agreed if we had to redo the work, why pay someone in the first place?  Most people don't want to work on old houses.  So rather than chance it again we just do the work ourselves.  We figure if we do it ourselves and do not have to pay someone, then we can redo it twice or even 3 times for the same money.  We did pay a roofer friend to do our roof but he was conscious of our restoration and did a fantastic job.  

After watching him crawl around on the roof we knew that there was no way that we could done the work.  We will also hire out the chimney rebuilding or repointing.  Some things you just have to leave to the professionals.  
Most of the fascia is installed and the first run of gutter is hung minus the downspout because we need to finish the cedar shingle install first before we install the downspout.

We were making great progress until R had to have scheduled dental work done.  They did 3 implants and that was 7 days ago and he still can't eat and the inside of his mouth is still bruised in the area of the implants.  He was very bummed that he couldn't eat on Christmas day at my sister's house.  She's a great cook and this year's theme was Southern cooking.  It was delicious. 

I will do an entire post on how we hang our vinyl gutters and downspouts.  We do it slightly different than is suggested (at least since the last time I looked at their instructions) and they work perfectly.  They now offer a 5 inch gutter and downspout and we are installing that size.  We might replace a short piece of the old standard size where we do get some overflow during big storms.  But bottom line is we love our vinyl gutter system.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that R's mouth is better tomorrow and we can get back to work.

I have also ordered a new patio door and it will be here sometime in January.  AND it can't get here soon enough.  The old door is just about ready to fall out of the opening because of decay.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!  I hope that everyone is enjoying their time with family and eating a few tasty treats.
This is a wreath that I made at one of Yvonne's Christmas wreath making classes.  I don't know what it is about vintage ornaments but they are all so pretty and they make such beautiful wreaths. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Shingles are on the New Roof

Just a quick post to catch everyone up on the progress of the new roof.  The shingles will match better once they fade.  We used these same shingles elsewhere on the roof to make a repair and after a couple of weeks you can't tell new from old.  Of course the sun will need to shine for the shingles to fade.  Lately we have been lacking in the sunshine department.
The shingle install started on Wednesday.  The temperature was a high of 28 degrees.  This makes the shingles stiff and will tear easily when you try to bend them to get under old shingles or to lay down ridge cap shingles.  

The roofer first had to finish prepping the roof with the rubber membrane (we were able to get about 50% of it installed ourselves) and then he laid down the tar paper and installed the drip edge.
He spent a lot of the first day removing partial and damaged shingles so he could weave in the new shingles.  All the while it stayed at 28 degrees and heavy fog.  
The photo below is an old ridge cap shingle that was removed.  You can see how much the old shingle had faded compared to the bright green that was protected from the sun.
Thursday and Friday was as cold but no fog and he laid shingles both days.  On Saturday it was slightly warmer but just barely above 32 degrees.  He primarily worked on installing ridge caps.  

He will be back probably on Wednesday when it is forecasted to be over 38 degrees.  He needs to add roofing adhesive under a few caps, some exposed nail heads, and under the shingles around the boot for the electrical mast.
Today R and I ripped some corner boards to the correct width and glued and clamped one corner piece.  We have to have the corner pieces in place before we can install the fascia board and the gutters and downspouts.

We have all the lumber, gutters, downspouts, and all the extra pieces needed to finish the eave troughs on the first story on the back of the house.  The second story will wait until the summer.

Both of us are pleased with how it is looking but we can't wait to be done working outside all day in below freezing temps.

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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Our Favorite Bird Feeder and Why it's Our Favorite

We love our birds and over the last 35 years we have figured out what feeders and feed to buy to bring in the birds.  Our favorite feeder is made by Perky-Pet and holds sunflower seeds.
Over our many years of bird feeder buying we now only buy feeders that are metal (like the feeder above) or feeders that have replacement parts like the long Lexan cylinder finch feeders.  Any feeders with plastic parts do not hold up against the squirrels , raccoons, or the weather.  

This feeder is not only sturdy but also has a great design.  If you watch the birds a lot like we do, you will notice that the little birds are sometimes chased off the feeder by bigger birds or they can fall prey to a predator like a hawk or a house cat while they are eating.  This design allows the little birds to perch inside the feeder where they are protected, while they pull the sunflower seed through the wire mesh.  

The design also allows for any feed, that is wet from the rain or snow, to dry out.  This eliminates wasted feed and also protects the birds from eating spoiled feed.  If you wash out your feeders several times a year, then you know how nasty spoiled feed smells.  This feeder doesn't have the problem of spoiled feed because even the bottom of the feeder is wire mesh.  Fresh air surrounds the feed at all times which dries out any feed that might get wet from rain or snow.
The hanging wire on our 8 year old feeder broke.  We are pretty sure it was thanks to a huge raccoon that has been seen swinging from the feeder.  It was an easy and inexpensive fix.  Picture hanging wire can be purchased at the hardware/craft store/home improvement store and who doesn't need or maybe already have the wire.
Another feature of this feeder is that the lid requires you to push a button on the side of the decorative knob on the top before you can lift the lid up to fill.  This helps to keep the lid on so that squirrels and raccoon can't dump out your feed onto the ground. When depressed, the knob can be moved up the wire so the lid can slide to the side to fill the feeder.  When disassembling make sure you don't lose the cylinder shaped button.
We cut off a 24 inch piece of wire and put a cable crimp on one of the ends.  The crimp has 2 holes and you feed the wire through one side and then back up through the other hole.  Now comes the crimping part.  Using your electrical pliers you place the crimp into the jaws of the pliers making sure you place the crimp all the way to the back of the electrical pliers jaws and then squeeze real hard.  The pliers have little bumps on the jaws that compress the crimp and holds the wire in place.
  Now thread the lid onto the wire, then the decorative knob.  You will need to depress the button so that the hole is visible so the wire can go through the decorative knob.  Now you have the feeder back together except for the hanging loop.
We threaded the wire through one side of the crimp and back through the other side just like before except we left a six inch loop or hanging.  This time we crimped the wire crimp using the bench vise.  We could have used the pliers but we wanted to know if the vise would squeeze the crimp closed if someone didn't have electrical pliers but did have a bench vise.  
When using a vise open the jaws just enough for the crimp to sit between the jaws.  Slowly close the jaws and watch your fingers.  It won't take long to squeeze the crimp onto the wire.  Open the jaws and test to make sure the wire doesn't move.
Now fill the feeder with sunflower seeds and rehang.  

Sunflower seeds offer a lot of needed energy for the birds during the winter when there is not a lot of natural food sources for them to eat.  Birds during the winter spends all their time just trying to stay warm so let's give them a hand during the winter and come spring you can reap the reward of hearing their bird song.


Buy feeders that are metal like the Perky-Pet Fly Thru feeder.  Also, buy feeders that allow air flow to dry out any feed that may get wet.  Metal feeders are sturdy and can be fixed with a little elbow grease.  A broken feeder is of no use to the birds or you.  Buy feeders that are used specifically for the birds or feed that you are using.  Use thistle feeders for thistle seed or sunflower seed feeders for sunflower seeds.  Be consistent with filling your feeders.  Don't go long periods without filling your feeder because the birds will go where the food is and if it isn't in your feeder, in your yard, neither will they.  Don't quit feeding in the winter.  Many of your wild song birds stay year round so they need a little help during the winter.  Winter feeding is the most important time to feed the birds.

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